Irises forum→Planting in the heat: what do you do?

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Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lauriemorningglory
Jul 6, 2020 7:11 PM CST
Kent said in a recent post: "There's an old saying about bearded iris: 'They can take a lot of water and they can take a lot of heat, but they can't take a lot of water and heat at the same time.'"

So as I'm planting my first box of iris in the July heat and keeping the new rhizomes watered, I'm wondering if I'm doing the right thing. I don't think I've had problems in the past with doing this, but I'd like to hear what you all do with your new purchases. I think someone said they pot them up. Do you plant them out later in the summer?

I'd love hear everyone's advice! Smiling
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 6, 2020 7:21 PM CST
Hi Laurie ~ I am not one to give advice. However, I will tell you what seems to works for me. When I receive any packages of irises in July or August, I pot them up and put them in my part shade "pot ghetto". Then they develop a good system of roots before fall as it is better for me to plant them then. Others may have other ideas. If they are in part shade, they do not need to be watered every day.

Evelyn
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 6, 2020 7:59 PM CST
I pretty do the same as Evelyn. My potting soil is about about 2/3 potting and about 1/3 perlite. It drains very well. I haven't really had trouble with watering in our "dry" heat. In all the years of doing this I think I've lost three irises, but I don't think it was the result of watering in the heat.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lauriemorningglory
Jul 6, 2020 8:10 PM CST
Thank you, Evelyn and Barbara. I'm not sure where I'd put the pots--I don't really have a good "part shade" area. Especially if I want shade from the hottest part of the day. Possibly I could erect a temporary shade structure....

What size pots do you use?
Name: Barbara
Northern CA (Zone 9a)
Region: California Cat Lover Irises Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover
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iciris
Jul 6, 2020 8:20 PM CST
One-gallon for the most part. Some rhizomes are so big they don't fit in the one gallon pots.
• “Whoever said, ‘Do something right and you won’t have to do it again’ never weeded a garden.” – Anonymous
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 6, 2020 8:43 PM CST
Me too. One gallon for most, unless they are larger rhizomes.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Jul 6, 2020 9:34 PM CST
@lauriemorningglory/ laurie, we live in such different zones. but, i do pretty much the same as barbara and evelyn, except i use 2/3 cactus mix with 1/3 potting soil. i use 1-3 gal pots as they do, depending on the rhizome. but, i usually leave in pot until the next season. unless they outgrow and split their pots. i've had problems with transferring to the ground too soon. when i've done that, the rhizomes languish, and i have lost them that way. i've planted them directly into the ground and have lost even more that way.

so, for me they do better from summer to late spring in pots. i don't know if you're aware that the height of my bloom is usually from late february to early april. i also have early bloomers in late december or early january.
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lauriemorningglory
Jul 6, 2020 10:41 PM CST
Thank you, Daphne. I suspect the roots might freeze in my zone over the winter if they stayed in pots that long. I wonder why they struggle for you if you plant them out too soon.
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Jul 7, 2020 1:49 PM CST
laurie as someone else mentioned, who has freezing weather, they bury their pots in the garden and have had no problems. ??

i think mine struggle because of poor sandy soil, and weather conditions. we have temperate weather for the most part, 9-10 months of the year. i think it puts a strain on the iris to keep performing. imho it's why i seem to have more bloomout. Shrug! or it might just be my horticultural skills. Sticking tongue out Hilarious!
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 7, 2020 2:24 PM CST
Laurie ~ It freezes here every winter. And we have snow here, too, every winter. I have never buried my pots, and have not lost any planted in pots, unless they were already doing poorly.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: daphne
san diego county, ca (Zone 10a)
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shizen
Jul 7, 2020 5:30 PM CST
@lauriemorningglory/ laurie, we live in such different zones. but, i do pretty much the same as barbara and evelyn, except i use 2/3 cactus mix with 1/3 potting soil. i use 1-3 gal pots as they do, depending on the rhizome. but, i usually leave in pot until the next season. unless they outgrow and split their pots. i've had problems with transferring to the ground too soon. when i've done that, the rhizomes languish, and i have lost them that way. i've planted them directly into the ground and have lost even more that way.

so, for me they do better from summer to late spring in pots. i don't know if you're aware that the height of my bloom is usually from late february to early april. i also have early bloomers in late december or early january.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jul 7, 2020 5:48 PM CST
I have them planted and water every 3rd or 4th day. Hasn't been a problem........Some days in the 90'. I'm to lazy to pot them.
I may mulch them very lightly with pine needles....not on the rhizome


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Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
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Polymerous
Jul 7, 2020 7:31 PM CST
...and here I thought this thread was going to be about what do WE, as gardeners, do to survive planting in the heat. Whistling

Most of my irises are in pots, and incoming irises go into pots, so it is not too much of a problem for me. I water periodically (well, right now it is more like sporadically) and the irises do okay. The ones that go into the ground are on automatic irrigation 2x/week. If I think they need more water, then I may hit them with the hose.

(As to what I do about planting in the heat.... I'm avoiding it as much as possible, because every time I do so, I end up with a migraine. That's my excuse for the complete and utter failure of my "one iris, one daylily, one random ornamental a day" plan. Sorry, I just can't handle the heat.)
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Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
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irisarian
Jul 7, 2020 8:13 PM CST
because our heat is not so hot we can plant directly in the ground.
Name: Derylin
Louisville ,Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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KyDeltaD
Jul 7, 2020 8:42 PM CST
When I receive a box here in Louisville, mine go directly into the ground.I have planted in July,and a few times as late as Sept.This year I have 33 new iris coming probably in a week or so.It is 94 here today ,and will be in the 90's when they arrive.My soil is a clay mixture.I water them if there are too many hot days with no rain after initially watering them the first week..Mine seem to do just fine without a whole lot of pampering.
As far as planting in the heat, I try to pick cooler times, morning or later in the day.I probably will plant 10 a day ,or I may just get a second wind and keep going. It seems heat bothers me a lot more than it use to.I can't be out in it a long time.
[Last edited by KyDeltaD - Jul 7, 2020 9:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
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DaisyDo
Jul 8, 2020 3:23 PM CST
It's 90° out there, but "Feels Like" is 93.° I can only stand it for 5-10 minutes, and then come in red-faced, huffing and puffing! It's really awful! I have 10-12 more irises coming this month, and they'll be going directly into the ground, but I think I'll have to get up before 8 AM to do it, and space it over 3-4 days!

I remember having cooler summers than this in my childhood. If anyone here doesn't believe in global warming, you need to just look at the historic chart of the bloom time for cherry blossoms in DC. That ought to convince you, even if nothing else does. They have been charting the peak bloom time for the cherry blossoms ever since they were planted after WW2. They have to; the timing Cherry Blossom Festival and parade depends on it. My father's cousin was the organizer for it for many years. And so I am acutely aware of the fact that change is coming, faster than most people realize.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
Name: Laurie
southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
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lauriemorningglory
Jul 8, 2020 5:52 PM CST
Polymerous said:...and here I thought this thread was going to be about what do WE, as gardeners, do to survive planting in the heat. Whistling


Hilarious! Yes, I was thinking I should have used a different heading for this thread. I can't handle the heat and sun very well, either. I try to work outdoors early mornings (except I'm not a morning person! Hilarious! )

Thank you, all for your responses. I have another box arriving on Friday, and will be dividing some clumps--haven't decided yet what I will do.
(Zone 9b)
Region: California
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UndertheSun
Jul 8, 2020 6:03 PM CST
I do as others in CA have suggested. I pot them up and plant them in the ground late September and into October. If the rhizomes are small, I'll wait until next season to plant them in the ground. If the rhizomes are from my garden, I leave them in the barn until it's time to plant. If I plant them too soon, they die in the 100 plus heat we have in July-September. I also have to place the pots in semi shade, or under shade cloth. The irises will cook in those pots if I don't.

As for what I personally do when I plant in the heat. That's easy....I sweat! Grin
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 9, 2020 10:20 AM CST
UndertheSun said:As for what I personally do when I plant in the heat. That's easy....I sweat! Grin


Hilarious! Hilarious! Hilarious!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
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evelyninthegarden
Jul 9, 2020 10:22 AM CST
I, also, am not usually, a very early riser. But it is surely easier to to work in the cool morning hours outside.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson

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